This site will return very soon.
We keep falling down.
We’ll keep getting up.
This site will return very soon.
We keep falling down.
We’ll keep getting up.
I’ll keep this review very short, because I don’t want to spoil the movie for you. I’ll just say that it is delightful, beautiful, and features one of the most exceptional musical scores I’ve ever heard.
It’s hard to understand why the critics accused it of being “too smug and pleased with itself” (Roger Ebert). It is anything but smug; it’s full of manic energy, joy, and enthusiasm. It is the polar opposite of mannered, self-consciously “quirky” bullshit like Rushmore. You won’t find a film more full of life, more in love with its story and characters. And, more remarkably, you won’t find a movie about con men that is more honest or more full of heart.
See this movie, and trust that the ride it will take you on leads to a place of truth.
When I first heard all the hubbub about Kick-Ass, I thought the typical conservatism (conscious or not) of a lot of people was rearing its ugly head. I do not, after all, see anything inherently wrong with a child swearing, or – in the context of fiction – a child killing people. The latter, of course, is only acceptable under certain dramatic or comedic conditions. But surely, Kick-Ass was a parody of vigilante justice, a deconstruction of the superhero myth, an adolescent and less literate version of Watchmen?
No such luck.
Kick-Ass is a very clear embodiment of everything that’s wrong with so-called Geek Culture: the fetishization of women, the uncritical attitude towards superficial cultural artefacts, the thoughtless individualism, the hollow pursuit of “awesome” things… on and on, this movie is as trite and foolish as it is disturbing. Oh, I’m sure the filmmakers will say that much of the movie is meant to be ironic, meant to be disturbing… but we’re also supposed to think that it’s cool. A girl with a coloured wig? Cool! Action scenes ripped from better movies starring insipid characters we can supposedly project onto? Cool! Jetpacks? Cool!
But it’s not cool. It’s not awesome. It’s derivative, unimaginative bullshit that wants to have its cake and eat it too. Even the composer manages to rip himself off, reusing music from considerably better movies he’s scored in a way that only highlights the vapid nature of this one.
There are truly great comics out there (or graphic novels, if you prefer), and there are some truly great superhero stories, not all of which are critical of the superhero concept (or need to be). But Kick-Ass is a celebration of the most childish and unpleasant elements of that world, offering no insights and even less entertainment. It is truly a terrible movie, quite possibly the worst I’ve seen all year.
Trailers. Like politicians, they don’t often tell us the truth about what they really represent. Sometimes they’re fascinating. Sometimes they’re boring. Sometimes they promise you change and deliver more of the same. Sometimes they say they’re for transparency and freedom of information and then they attack those values as soon as they’re in danger of being embarrassed or exposed as war criminals. OK, trailers don’t really do that. We’re getting off topic. So here’s three trailers we’ve recently watched and what they made us think.
The trailer for Source Code looks very promising. Moon, the director’s first film, was excellent, and this looks like a very ambitious, serious project. Great actors, an interesting premise, a talented director… yep, we’re hoping this will be a really good movie.
Cowboys and Aliens, on the other hand, is just confusing. The title sounds comedic, the trailer looks serious (apart from a very visible wire effect)… but it’s one of those trailers that really don’t tell you much about the movie. Jon Favreau is certainly not without talent, and the cast includes some actors we really adore (Harrison Ford!), but the trailer doesn’t really do much for us.
And then there’s The Beaver, whose trailer is the opposite of Cowboys and Aliens, telling us entirely too much about the movie. In fact, it looks like it’s a summary rather than a trailer. (Some of those scenes look like they’re from the end of the film!) But it’s not without promise, despite seemingly being another tiresome rich-people-are-so-unhappy movie. Controversies aside, Mel Gibson is a fine actor, and Jodie Foster is the kind of director who believes in her projects, so The Beaver might turn out to be better than all the tiresome jokes the reviews will inevitably be filled with.
(The horror that is Gulliver’s Travels shall not be mentioned.)
As you may have noticed, the site was having some rather severe technical issues. These appear to have been solved (for now, anyway) and everything’s back to normal. Updates will resume tonight.
Recently followed this link from the IMDb, which includes some truly precious quotes:
I have considerably more power as an individual than I do as a member of that group, and I am forced to be a member of that union in order to work. Moreover, because the vast majority of the members of that union are not employed, frankly, the Writers Guild works best as an organization not to protect writers from management but to protect people who want to be writers from people who already are. I have never had any trouble with a studio, with a network, with a producer, with a director, with a star; I have only ever had trouble with the Writers Guild.
Translation: “I am the biggest writer who ever was! And because I am so successful, and obviously a perfect writer, everyone who is not successful must be a failure and a bad writer. The studios love me for writing superficial ‘zingy’ scripts with little reference to the complexities of the real world, so I think it’s terrible if I have to make even the tiniest of sacrifices for other people who may not be as rich as I.
I’m also one of the 9 percent of the Writers Guild who did not vote to support the strike. By the way, I now will not get a WGA nomination, we can rule that out. [Laughs.] It’s not a coincidence that it’s roughly that 9 percent of people who are employed.
Translation: “Everyone who disagrees with me on this is an unemployed hobo hack.”
My feeling is if you want to get the extra three cents on the streaming video — frankly, I never even understood the issue behind the strike because I don’t know anything about technology — if you want to get the extra three cents, write better. Your agent will get it for you. Be good, be in demand [and] your agent will get it! Let the markets work!
Translation: “I make so much money that I don’t give a shit about anyone else. Why don’t they eat cake? And that technology stuff, I don’t know what it’s good for, but I’m sure it will not play any part in writer’s lives in the future. And even if it did, the multibillion-dollar corporations that run the business aren’t really out for profit… they just want to help you! They believe in fair play and niceness, because that way everyone gets what they want! No, we don’t need any safeguards against unethical behaviour, because we know that big industry never behaves unethically.”
Well-said, you overpaid sellout prick.
The weirdest thing about Stargate Universe is that is sucks less than its two predecessors. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it is still an utterly derivative show with no imagination of its own – in fact, this time around the producers have been even less subtle about their stealing from other shows. The degree to which Stargate Universe is a rip-off of Battlestar Galactica (with a bit of Lost thrown in) is stunning. From the aesthetics to the plot to the character conflicts to the CGI, it’s such an obvious and pathetic rip-off that I occasionally cannot help but burst out laughing when watching the show.
Nevertheless, watching an episode of SGU is considerably less painful than watching an episode of Stargate Atlantis or Stargate SG-1, despite the fact that both those shows had actors in them that I absolutely adore (David Hewlett was the main reason we watched Atlantis). So why is this?
We’re working on an article about underrated science fiction movies – there’s quite a few of them out there that are really intelligent and well-done and that have gotten almost no attention, or that have been unfairly trashed by mindless critics and meme-obsessed geeks alike.
But precisely because they’re underrated, some of these movies are easy to miss. So, we thought we might ask you, the generous internet public, for some advice. Any sci-fi movies out there that you thought were really good and deserving of more attention?
Yes, there’s going to be a new Battlestar Galactica spin-off.
After launching prequel Caprica, which is now airing the second part of its first season while awaiting word on a second-season pickup, the cable network has greenlighted a two-hour pilot for Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome or BGBC how it will probably be known in the Battlestar fan universe.
And here’s the network’s description of the show:
Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome takes place in the 10th year of the first Cylon war. As the battle between humans and their creation, a sentient robotic race, rages across the 12 colonial worlds, a brash rookie viper pilot enters the fray. Ensign William Adama, barely in his 20’s and a recent Academy graduate, finds himself assigned to the newest battlestar in the Colonial fleet… the Galactica. The talented but hot-headed risk-taker soon finds himself leading a dangerous top secret mission that, if successful, will turn the tide of the decade long war in favor of the desperate fleet. “The ‘Galactica’ universe as re-imagined by Ron Moore and David Eick is rich with possibilities and backstory,” said SyFy’s Mark Stern. “We jumped at the chance to revisit the William Adama character and explore this exciting chapter in the BSG narrative which falls between the events of the original series and the prequel, ‘Caprica,’ currently airing on Syfy.”
“While maintaining the themes of politics, social propaganda, and the timeless question: what does it mean to be human? – ‘Blood & Chrome’ will also return us to the authentic, relentless depiction of combat and the agony and ecstasy of human-Cylon war, which was the hallmark of ‘Battlestar Galactica’s’ early seasons,” said Eick. Michael Taylor wrote the teleplay from a story by Eick, Taylor and Bradley Thompson & David Weddle.
Now, apart from the fact that the title seems derivative of Spartacus: Blood & Sand (which makes a hell of a lot more sense), do we really need another BSG spin-off? Is the BSG universe – its whole essence determined by one catastrophic event – really that full of possibilities? Is it wise to attempt adding more twists and turns to a backstory that’s already full of holes and contradictions? It’s one thing to go back to a setting that was planned in detail, but BSG was written on the fly, and though it undeniably has its strengths, it already has enough trouble standing up to repeated viewing.
With Caprica being a show so thoroughly uninspiring and lacking in likeable characters that we can’t bring ourselves to watch more of it even though it features some of our favourite actors, and The Plan deserving some kind of award for most incoherent prequel of all time, what are we going to get out of Spartacus: Robots & Humans?
I don’t mean to be cynical. For all its absurd flaws, Battlestar Galactica had moments of grace and power that I am glad to have experienced. But some stories are over when they’re over. There should never have been a Crusade to follow Babylon 5, and perhaps Battlestar Galactica should just be left alone.
Unless someone wants to reimagine the last episode. That would be spiffy.